38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38 (ESV)
It seems this verse has been lived out recently in the political arena. First, Vice President Pence was attacked because he refuses to meet with women alone. The basis of his decision is his faith in Jesus. He has been called many names because of this decision. He has been accused of anti-feminism.
Most recently Russell Vought has come under attack because of his belief in Jesus as the only way to heaven. It may cost him a key position in the government. Some would advocate that both these men should take a more middle of the road stance publicly when it comes to their faith. But isn’t that really being ashamed of Jesus?
If you read the New Testament (I mean actually read it, not listen to what others say about it) you will discover that it says a lot about not being ashamed of Jesus. Here is a sampling of verses:
Romans 1:16 (GW)
16 I'm not ashamed of the Good News. It is God's power to save everyone who believes, Jews first and Greeks as well. What is the Gospel? That Jesus alone saves from sin.
Romans 10:8-11 (GW)
8 However, what else does it say? “This message is near you. It's in your mouth and in your heart.” This is the message of faith that we spread. 9 If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. 10 By believing you receive God's approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved. 11 Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” Here we are not just to believe in our hearts but we are to publicly confess with our mouths.
2 Timothy 1:8 (GW)
8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord or be ashamed of me, his prisoner. Instead, by God's power, join me in suffering for the sake of the Good News. This is part of our current memory verse. We are told to never be ashamed of telling others about Jesus. But we are also told that suffering will come. We don’t like that part. But it is true. Look at the public attacks on Vice President Pence and Mr. Vought. They are being called names. They are being called hateful. Isn’t ironic that the Good News that Jesus died for all people to save them from their sins – news of God’s love for people – being labeled as hate speech?
2 Timothy 2:15 (GW)
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn't ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly. Paul is encouraging us to not be ashamed to teach God’s word correctly. In other words, not to water it down so others won’t get upset.
1 Peter 2:4-6 (GW)
4 You are coming to Christ, the living stone who was rejected by humans but was chosen as precious by God. 5 You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood. So offer spiritual sacrifices that God accepts through Jesus Christ. 6 That is why Scripture says, “I am laying a chosen and precious cornerstone in Zion, and the person who believes in him will never be ashamed.” Peter quotes from the Old Testament to show that believing in Jesus will not cause you shame. People may treat you shamefully, but you won’t be ashamed to call Jesus Lord.
1 Peter 4:16 (GW)
16 If you suffer for being a Christian, don't feel ashamed, but praise God for being called that name. There could be lot said about suffering for the name of Jesus and considering it an honor. I may not agree with all of Vice President Mike Pence and Mr. Vought’s politics or decisions, but I do applaud them for their stance as followers of Jesus.
I could list the verses that encourage us to be bold in sharing our faith. But hopefully you are getting the picture. We are not to be ashamed that we follow Jesus. That includes not watering down what we believe so as not to offend others. But we should present the truth of Jesus in a loving way.